Tag Archives: travel

Six Things To Know About Travel With Children

AugustinParisAugust in Paris sounds like the title of a delightful, romantic movie, but for Marion Winik, Paris wasn’t delightful or romantic. What it was, was stressful and chaotic because when you’re traveling with your entire family that’s usually the way things go for mom.

Thinking of heading out on your own family adventure? Marion has six things you should know before you go.

  1. The term “family travel” is an oxymoron.

What you see if you visit Chichen Itza with your children in tow is the same thing you see in Ocho Rios or Epcot Center: the exotic crushed relentlessly under the heel of the mundane.

  1. Think carefully before including your mother-in-law.

Though I have neither superpowers nor a signature form-fitting costume, I do have something in common with comic book heroes. I have a historic nemesis. Mine is a seventy-two-year-old Italian lady from Philadelphia.

  1. You need not accompany the children on every slide in the waterpark.

Jane spent the next three days imitating my pitiful scream as I went over the edge — less a woo-hoo! than the sort of plea for mercy once heard at the Spanish Inquisition.

  1. The Mayans cannot help you.

Marion Winik FamilyDay Six found me in a snit. I’d broken a fifty-five year ban on organized travel to travel to Peru with my daughter’s seventh grade class and I’d begun to remember why I might not like such a trip. I also remembered that I was not all that interested in ruins or the brutish ancient civilizations behind them.

  1. As your children will tell you, everything that goes wrong is your fault.

There is a reason these things happen to me and not other people, people who lock their doors and use fanny packs when abroad and don’t take their passports out of the hotel. My son Vince has kindly called it an “aura of vulnerability.”

  1. When you finally get away without them you are at a total loss.

I remember standing in the grocery store in Georgia befuddled. What did I like to eat? I had no idea. I was pretty sure it wasn’t Hot Pockets or sliced orange cheese.

One last thing before you go; add Marion’s collection of family travel essays, ‘August in Paris’ to your phone or tablet. Then, when you’re stuck in a two-hour line for that roller coaster that flips you upside down, you’ll have something to read. Misery does love company after all.

Snapshots from a Tangier Love Story

Images from Author Carol Ardman and excerpts from her book Tangier Love Story.

New York 1972 Carol

Carol in New York, 1972

An unexpected meeting. . .

Sitting across from me, in the quiet shade of a leafy café on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Paul Bowles ordered two mint teas. He asked me how I liked Tangier. Honeybees hummed around the rims of our glasses and I felt shy as I told him how I wandered for hours, enjoyed getting lost, how much I liked the street life here, the architecture, the food and the music. This obviously pleased him. He seemed to want to know all about me, and he was so easy to talk to, so receptive, so casual and sympathetic I found myself telling him. I had been married and divorced, I said, trying not to let on how depressed I still felt, though the relationship had ended the winter before. Incredibly, he had heard of my ex-husband, the composer Steve Reich, though he had only recently become well known. “A CW—composer’s wife; that’s what Janie has always called herself,” Paul said, making the designation sound oppressed, ironic, and comic all at once. Then he explained he wrote music as well as words.

Traveling like a native. . .

Carol on Camel

Carol on a camel holding Jane Bowles’ typewriter

We drove south, staying a couple of days in the intense, medieval city of Fez, on to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, Casablanca with its wide tree-lined boulevards, staying in nice hotels for a song. We drove to Marrakech, where we saw scribes, note-carrying doves, and a cigarette- smoking donkey in the Jemaa el Fnaa, and down, across moon mountains, where for a whole day we saw no animal or human, except for a man on a camel far away on the top of a cliff. When we had a flat tire we knew Abdulouhaid had to fix it quickly, because we had no food or water and could die before help came.

The writer’s muse. . . 

Carol and Paul in Atlanta, 1994

Carol and Paul in Atlanta, 1994

Paul set up his typewriter and wrote in the morning on the patio of a little hotel near the desert village of Taroudant. I remember being elated by the sights of the Sahara and the mere thought of Paul there tapping out words. Feeling I was taking Jane’s spirit with me, I strolled down the hill to the country market, noisy with camels and people selling silver jewelry and cloth. A few days later in an oasis out of the Arabian Nights, white-robed men reputed to be Sharifs—descendants of Mohammed —welcomed us to their village, its green fields bordered by babbling brooks and shaded by date palms.

Paul was changing my life, but I could trust him to carefully see to my well-being. I felt so undeserving of attention and praise, it was a long time before I considered the possibility that I made Paul as happy as he made me.

Tangier Love Story is available for download at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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A snapshot of religious India

 In Great Buddha Gym For All Mens and Womens  award-winning writer Sallie Tidale captures the cacophony and culture shock of her pilgrimage to the four vital sites where the Buddha lived and became enlightened. It’s a remarkable travel memoir, which masterfully evokes the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds—as well as the dizzying history—of religious India. Here are a few photographs that Tisdale snapped while on her journey…you’ll have to read the book to experience the rest!

The Bodhi tree, center, with a view of the bowing platforms. ??????????????(photo: Sallie Tisdale)

“India is light switches that change function with the barometric pressure, monkeys breaking into hotel rooms to steal underwear and Kleenex”

“Everydog,” at Sarnath. (photo: Sallie Tisdale)???????????????????????????????????????

 “India is rolling blackouts, coleslaw sandwiches, mongooses, relentless and more or less pointless honking, India is museums with no signs and stores with no shopkeepers, wild indigo, phones that can call each other from 100 miles away but not from the room next door.”

The Home Cave at Vulture Peak (photo: Sallie Tisdale)?????????????????????????????

 Bathers at the Ganges. (photo: Sallie Tisdale)???????

“India is outrageous noise, outrageous beauty.”  

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Is your interest piqued? Read Sallie Tisdale’s short memoir Great Buddha Gym For All Mens and Womens to learn the stories behind these fascinating images, only at Shebooks.net!

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